Author: Jessica Mabuza

Jessica aims to be first to bring the news on industry updates, while her finance background informs her insights on how broader economic trends affect the jewellery trade

A recent report by Watchfinder & Co. presents compelling data on Gen Z’s engagement with the luxury watch market, painting a picture of a generation with a burgeoning interest in luxury watches. This analysis, rooted in a survey of over 2,400 individuals aged 18 to 26 in the U.S., sheds light on the preferences, spending habits, and digital influences shaping Gen Z’s luxury watch purchases. Elevated Spending Projections Gen Z individuals are prepared to allocate an average of $10,870 for their next luxury watch, surpassing the spending averages of millennials ($5,325), Generation X ($5,423), and baby boomers ($2,632). This indicates…

Read More

Informa Markets Jewellery has announced the judging panel for the 2024 Sustainability Awards by the Jewellery World Awards (JWA), aiming to highlight notable sustainability practices within the jewellery, gemstone, and related industries over the past three years. The panel consists of a diverse group of experts known for their contributions and leadership both within and outside the jewellery sector. The Panel The 2024 Sustainability Awards panel features: John Mulligan, Director of Market Relations & Climate Change Lead at the World Gold Council Nirupa Bhatt, renowned gem and jewellery industry expert and Business Leadership Coach Hayley A. Henning, a strategist in…

Read More

The recent imposition of sanctions by the G7 on the global diamond trade has sparked significant concern among African diamond producers. The sanctions, which necessitate routing all European Union (EU)-destined diamonds through a single entry point in Antwerp, have been criticized by key African stakeholders for their potential to disrupt the industry’s logistics and equality in international trade relations. African Producers’ Stance Lefoko Moagi, Botswana’s Minister of Mineral Resources, voiced his concerns during a meeting with the African Diamond Producers Association (ADPA) in Zimbabwe. Representing 19 countries, including major diamond-producing nations like Botswana, Angola, South Africa, the Democratic Republic of…

Read More

In a recent event at the Rice Northwest Museum of Rocks & Minerals in Hillsboro, Oregon, a 703-carat tanzanite carving, named L’Heure Bleu by artist Naomi Sarna, has been officially recognised as the world’s largest cut tanzanite by GUINNESS WORLD RECORDS™ on March 9. Record-Breaking Achievement The declaration of the world record was witnessed by a large crowd, including gemstone experts Jessie English from J.S. English Appraisals and Madeline Saunders of Oregon Estate Jewelry, who served as the official witnesses. Michael Empric, a Guinness World Records adjudicator, verified and announced the achievement. The event was also attended by Gail Spann,…

Read More

Alrosa has announced a significant change in its sales approach for the year 2024 – it has  committed to selling its entire diamond production for the year directly to the Russian government, a move that deviates markedly from its previous sales strategies.  This decision comes amidst escalating sanctions pressure, with the G7, which accounts for 70% of the diamond market, tightening its restrictions on Russian diamonds. Government Procurement of Diamond Production The Finance Ministry’s Gokhran, Russia’s repository for precious metals and stones, acquired Alrosa’s entire diamond output for March 2024 and plans to maintain this purchasing pattern throughout the year.…

Read More

Ahmed Bin Sulayem, Chair of the Kimberley Process (KP), recently concluded a comprehensive fact-finding mission to West Africa, specifically Sierra Leone and Ghana, recognizing both countries for their exemplary adherence to KP standards and setting a benchmark for global practices. Strengthening Global Standards The mission, led by the UAE delegation, was geared towards reinforcing best practices within the Kimberley Process membership. As part of the UAE’s ambitious “Year of Delivery,” the visit aimed at ensuring the Kimberley Process’s stringent controls and regulations are effectively implemented, fostering a more ethical and transparent global diamond trade. Sierra Leone and Ghana’s commitment to…

Read More

The European Union and Belgian authorities have intensified their enforcement of sanctions against Russia, particularly targeting the importation and trade of Russian diamonds. This action includes the arrest of four individuals in Antwerp for allegedly violating EU sanctions, and the imposition of sanctions against Alrosa, Russia’s leading diamond mining company, along with its CEO, Pavel Marinychev. Antwerp Raids Yield Arrests and Seizures Following an investigation triggered by the seizure of diamonds in late February, the Belgian public prosecutor’s office reported that the Federal Judicial Police (FGP) Antwerp conducted six house searches, leading to four arrests. According to the public prosecutor’s…

Read More

The Botswana government-owned Okavango Diamond Company (ODC) has been announced as the latest member of the Natural Diamond Council (NDC). This marks a significant moment as ODC is recognised as the first non-mining entity to gain membership within the NDC.  The collaboration underscores ODC’s crucial role in the distribution of natural diamonds and reflects Botswana’s strategy to enhance consumer demand as a key to the future prosperity of the natural diamond market. Strategic Membership The inclusion of ODC in the NDC represents a key milestone, uniting two influential entities within the diamond sector. ODC’s annual contribution of over 6 million…

Read More

As the retail industry increasingly adopts generative AI into its operations, the jewellery sector finds itself at an important moment, with the technology looking likely to be incorporated into many aspects of customer service, personalisation, and operations. A recent survey conducted by Salesforce and the Retail AI Council unveils a comprehensive overview of the current state of generative AI adoption across the retail landscape, providing critical insights that are particularly relevant for jewellers. Generative AI Adoption in Retail: A Primer for Jewellers The survey reveals that 36% of retail employees are currently utilising generative AI, with projections indicating an increase…

Read More

The Gemological Institute of America (GIA) has recently published “William Ruser: The Jeweler Who Charmed Hollywood”, exploring the career of William Ruser, famed for his figural jewellery with freshwater pearls.  The book, by Judy Colbert and Peggy Tsiamis, aims to provide a thorough look at Ruser’s contribution to jewellery design and his enduring popularity in the market. From Humble Beginnings to Stardom Ruser’s journey from modest origins to the preferred jeweller of Hollywood’s elite in the mid-20th century is captured in the book. His clientele included names like Elizabeth Taylor and Frank Sinatra. On Ruser’s customer service, the book notes,…

Read More

The United States government has imposed targeted sanctions on Zimbabwe’s President Emmerson Mnangagwa and other high-ranking officials over allegations of corruption and human rights abuses. The sanctions, administered by the Treasury Department’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC), specifically accuse Mnangagwa of aiding gold and diamond smuggling networks and engaging in corrupt practices. This move by the US is part of a broader strategy to recalibrate its sanctions towards Zimbabwe, focusing on individuals directly responsible for undermining the democratic process and violating human rights, rather than imposing broader sanctions that affect the Zimbabwean populace as a whole. Detailed Allegations and…

Read More

The International Gemological Institute (IGI) has introduced a new technology aimed at accurately distinguishing between lab-grown and natural fancy-colored diamonds.  Traditional methods for differentiating diamonds, primarily focused on colorless stones, have relied on photoluminescence to detect the source of the diamond. However, these techniques prove ineffective for fancy-colored diamonds, which may undergo treatments like irradiation, heat, and pressure, altering their fluorescence and phosphorescence. To address this, IGI has conducted extensive research to establish a set of procedures specific to each color category of diamonds. Advanced Identification Techniques Utilizing Fourier-transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR) and photoluminescence spectroscopy, combined with magnification, IGI’s new…

Read More

Tiffany & Co. has introduced a new campaign, “With Love, Since 1837,” aimed at celebrating the brand’s origins and the histories of its iconic collections.  The campaign draws inspiration from Gene Moore, a notable window designer for Tiffany, and seeks to reinterpret his creative vision for today’s audience. It focuses on the narratives that link each collection to the brand’s long-standing tradition of craftsmanship without the use of celebrity endorsements. Historical Context and Inspiration The initiative revisits the establishment of Tiffany & Co. in 1837 by Charles Lewis Tiffany in New York City and showcases several notable collections. These include…

Read More

The World Federation of Diamond Bourses (WFDB) recently hosted its annual Presidents’ Meeting in Shanghai, China, at the new Shangrila Hotel in Pudong. This event gathered leaders from the global diamond industry to deliberate on significant issues such as G7 restrictions, the emergence of synthetic diamonds, and the challenges within the Chinese market. The meeting, lasting over three days, aimed at fostering dialogue and strategies to navigate these challenges. Collaborative Efforts and Industry Unity A recurring theme of the meeting was the essential role of cooperation among organisations within the diamond industry. Under the guidance of WFDB President Yoram Dvash,…

Read More

Model Emily Ratajkowski has introduced her “divorce rings,” transforming her Toi et Moi engagement ring into two separate pieces. This step highlights a growing trend in jewellery customisation, where personal items are reimagined to reflect individual journeys and new beginnings. Trend Overview After separating from Sebastian Bear-McClard, Ratajkowski collaborated with Alison Lou, the original designer of her engagement ring, to create two new pieces from the original. These rings, one with a pear-shaped solitaire and another with a princess-cut diamond, demonstrate a creative approach to repurposing significant jewellery. This concept has gained traction, as more people look for ways to…

Read More

The Natural Diamond Council (NDC) has expanded its Education Program to include a new series of roleplay videos and a monthly subscription option, alongside the existing annual subscription.  This initiative aims to equip sales advisors and jewellers with practical tools for engaging with consumers, addressing common queries and misconceptions about natural diamonds through realistic scenarios. Educational Expansion The newly unveiled component consists of 19 roleplay videos, each created to address common questions and misconceptions about diamonds. These educational materials are intended to aid sales advisors and jewellery professionals in navigating conversations with consumers, ranging from self-purchasers and gift shoppers to…

Read More

The Indian diamond industry, recognised as a global leader in cutting and polishing diamonds, is poised to experience a downturn in cut and polished diamond (CPD) exports, projected to fall to around $15-16 billion in the fiscal year 2023-24. This represents a significant decrease, marking a five-year low. The reduced demand from the primary markets, the United States and China, which collectively account for approximately 65% of India’s diamond exports, underpins this trend. Facing various challenges, including shifts in consumer spending, the rise of lab-grown diamonds, geopolitical unrest, and sanctions on Russian-origin diamonds, the sector’s outlook appears cautious. Demand Fluctuations…

Read More

The Gemological Institute of America (GIA) has taken a significant step towards sustainable gold mining practices by awarding a $93,000 grant for the deployment of the Goldrop technology across three Colombian artisanal and small-scale mining (ASM) communities. This collaboration between the Alliance for Responsible Mining (ARM) and Mercury Free Mining (MFM), aims to eliminate the need for mercury in gold extraction, presenting a major advancement in efforts to develop a more sustainable and ethical gold mining industry. Enhancing Miner Welfare and Environmental Protection The introduction of Goldrop technology is set to transform the working conditions of arASM miners, significantly reducing…

Read More

Natural Diamond Council (NDC) has introduced a new platform named “Real. Rare. Responsible.” which aim to highlight the inherent beauty, scarcity, and ethical sourcing of natural diamonds and shine a light on the moral obligations of the diamond industry worldwide. “Our mission is to inspire and educate consumers on the unique values of natural diamonds and the positive impact and commitments of the industry,” said Kristina Buckley Kayel, Managing Director & CMO, North America at NDC. “The new framework of Real. Rare. Responsible cohesively ties in our mission throughout NDC’s editorial destination (naturaldiamonds.com), celebrity ambassador and sustainability global advertising campaigns,…

Read More

The World Federation of Diamond Bourses (WFDB), along with key industry leaders, has initiated a concerted campaign to address the challenges posed by the proposed G7 restrictions on diamonds of Russian origin. A comprehensive letter, undersigned by Yoram Dvash, President of the WFDB; Feriel Zerouki, President of the World Diamond Council; Vipul Shah, Chairman of the Gem & Jewellery Export Promotion Council of India; and Ronnie Vanderlinden, President of the International Diamond Manufacturers Association, has been dispatched to G7 and EU representatives. This letter articulates the diamond and jewellery industry’s apprehensions regarding the “one import node” solution and its potential…

Read More

IGI has recently introduced a comprehensive set of procedures designed to distinguish between fancy-colored lab-grown diamonds and their natural counterparts. This development comes as a response to the growing challenge in the jewellery industry to identify synthetic stones, which are often treated to emulate the appearance of natural diamonds. IGI’s innovative approach involves the use of Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR) and photoluminescence spectroscopy, supplemented by traditional magnification techniques. These methods aim to overcome the limitations faced by conventional screening devices that rely on photoluminescence for analyzing a diamond’s fluorescence and phosphorescence under ultraviolet light. According to IGI, such traditional…

Read More

The French Ministry of Economy and Finance has taken a step to standardize the terminology for lab-grown diamonds by introducing “synthetic” as the official term. This change seeks to unify the various terms previously in use, like “lab-grown” or “cultivated,” for diamonds created through artificial processes. WFDB’s Reaction The World Federation of Diamond Bourses (WFDB) supports this decision, seeing it as an essential step in differentiating the value of natural diamonds. Yoram Dvash, President of the WFDB, stated, “By endorsing the use of ‘synthetic,’ the French government aims to eliminate ambiguity and ensure consumers can make informed choices based on…

Read More

Pandora, widely accepted as the world’s largest jewellery brand, has announced a significant shift in its supply chain strategy by exclusively sourcing recycled silver and gold for its jewellery production. This change reflects the company’s initiative to reduce its environmental footprint and aligns with broader industry trends towards sustainability. Environmental Impact Reduction By choosing recycled over newly mined metals, Pandora aims to decrease its CO2 emissions by approximately 58,000 tons per year. This effort contributes to the reduction of the environmental impact associated with metal mining, which is known for its high energy and resource requirements. Pandora’s CEO, Alexander Lacik,…

Read More

The Gemological Institute of America (GIA) has played a pivotal role in assisting the Boulder County Sheriff’s Office (BCSO) in recovering two diamonds, part of a larger theft of six jewelry pieces from a home in Colorado in June 2023. The total value of the stolen items was reported to exceed $475,000. The recovery led to an arrest, facilitated by the GIA’s identification of the two diamonds, which were submitted for grading by a wholesale diamond dealer who was not involved in the theft. GIA’s Consumer Protection Efforts Christina Yates, GIA’s associate general counsel, highlighted the institute’s commitment to aiding…

Read More

LVMH’s Chaumet has been selected to design the official medals for the Paris 2024 Olympic and Paralympic Games, introducing a novel approach by incorporating material from the Eiffel Tower into the medals’ design. Utilizing the Eiffel Tower’s Iron For the first time, original iron from the Eiffel Tower is being used in the creation of Olympic and Paralympic medals. This material choice links each medal directly to a key symbol of Paris. The iron, originally brown, has been returned to its natural color and shaped into a hexagon that reflects the tower’s structure. This element is central to the design…

Read More

In a significant move, De Beers announced a notable reduction in rough diamond prices during their recent sightholders meeting. This strategic adjustment involves cuts ranging from 10% to as much as 25% for certain diamond categories, signaling one of the most substantial pricing shifts in the company’s recent history. Breakdown of Price Adjustments The scale of the reductions varies across different segments of the diamond inventory. Diamonds under 0.75 carats are now priced 5% to 10% lower. The 0.75 to 2 carat diamonds have seen average reductions of 10% to 15%, while those over 2 carats are subject to a…

Read More

The Gem & Jewellery Export Promotion Council (GJEPC) recently acknowledged Mr. Tehmasp Printer, CEO of the International Gemological Institute (IGI), for his impactful contributions to the industry. With over 24 years at IGI, including his tenure as CEO since last year, Printer has been instrumental in advancing the institute’s global influence. IGI’s Global Influence and Services IGI, with its 30 laboratories and 19 educational facilities, has played a pivotal role in the global gem and jewellery landscape for over 45 years. The institute offers a range of services, including diamond grading, coloured stone grading, jewelry identification, and appraisal, catering to…

Read More

The International Gemological Institute (IGI) has recently revealed a significant case of diamond fraud. A 6.01 carat pear-cut diamond, initially believed to be natural due to its inscription, was identified as a lab-grown stone. This discovery highlights a growing concern in the jewellery industry regarding the differentiation and accurate representation of lab-grown and natural diamonds. The Discovery Process IGI’s analysis unveiled that the gemstone, inscribed with a grading report number matching a natural diamond, was in fact lab-created. The examination involved advanced techniques like photoluminescence spectroscopy, which exposed Silicone Vacancy (SiV) defects indicative of the Chemical Vapor Deposition (CVD) process…

Read More

The Gemological Institute of America (GIA) hosted its 16th annual research meeting at its global headquarters in Carlsbad, California, bringing together over 100 participants. This assembly included GIA researchers, esteemed academics, independent industry experts, and GIA Governors and executives. The three-day event, held from 1-3 November, focused on the latest gemological research and technological advancements Pioneering Research for Consumer Protection Tom Moses, GIA’s Executive Vice President and Chief Laboratory and Research Officer, emphasized the centrality of rigorous independent research to GIA’s mission. He stated, “Rigorous independent research is at the centre of GIA’s activities and is vital to our consumer…

Read More

Angola has officially commenced diamond mining at the Luele project, which represents a significant milestone for the country and adds to the world’s most substantial diamond resources​​. This mine is expected to be the largest diamond mining project to come online this decade, with an estimated resource of 628 million carats and a projected operational lifespan of 60 years​​​​. Located adjacent to the Catoca mine in northeastern Angola, Luele, previously known as Luaxe, is poised to enhance Angola’s status as a key player in the global diamond industry​​. Production Goals With an initial processing capacity of 4 million metric tons…

Read More